Rising Star


The Rising Festival 2019, 9 March

St Barnabas, Cambridge, was the location for this celebration of International Women’s Day and it is hard to imagine a better organised or more well attended event.

The speakers were high-calibre, striking the right balance between macro women’s issues, but also pastoral, holistic and business requirements.

The Rising Festival, in its second year, started out with open doors from 9am and before, but with the official opening at 9:30 and Zara Janjua welcomed the sell out crowd of hundreds of delegates. Dr Helen Zhang then gave a talk on Inention Setting before author Clare Pooley gave a bittersweet and yet also entertaining talk on How Quitting Alcohol Changed My Life.

Hugely entertaining was the talk by actress and comedian Helen Lederer who held forth in her inimitable style on her life and career encompassing show biz (and Absolutely Fabulous!) writing, rejection and hysteria.

Also on the organised theme, the lunch was an exercise in good logistics and thanks doubtless go to Cambridge food van The Wandering Yak whose vegetarian food was the most delicious lunch experienced and served with tasty flat bread. A nice touch was the fresh fruit available in the session rooms.

Subjects included an excellent volume of truly helpful empathetic advice for entrepreneurs, self employed and those up against the maelstrom of the modern career path engaging with global issues like empowering women in the workplace, while looking after children. The mental health advice was varied with some hard hitting views about how to balance risk of factors like suicide and self harm. 

Jane Portas and Claire LaRue gave financial advice while a lengthy but fascinating session chaired by Adelina Chalmers, with Lily Cheng and Suzanne MacDonald-Carr gave real insight into the big career/life changes and how to address them.

This attendee was really interested to talk with Sue Dunn before her ‘Guided Hypnosis’ for stress management session. Fantastic and therapeutic, thanks Sue, not least the hypnosis which kept a room of 35 in an enlightened state of consciousness for 20 minutes.

A number of Open Conversations took place together with Speed networking, and the day rounded off with a happy hour with non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.

This event made a real and lasting mark on all those we spoke to. There was a great vibe of humanity and engagement and polite and respectful behaviour were everywhere in evidence. Snapshots of new friendships and networking were everywhere in evidence. Insightful, moving, enlightening and marking International Women’s Day in a way that deserves support and engagement throughout the year.

#BalanceforBetter for International Women’s Day


You might also like